The Eagles fired Doug Pederson on Monday and didn’t waste any time working to find his replacement.
Howie Roseman shortly after Pederson was fired reached out to Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley to gauge his potential interest, according to SI.com’s Ed Kracz.
“It isn’t the first time the Eagles have talked to Riley about his potential interest in the Eagles,” Kracz writes. “In fact, he and general manager Howie Roseman have a good relationship and it was a consult with Riley that helped sway the Eagles to draft both Jalen Reagor and Jalen Hurts, per sources.”
Aside from a relationship with the general manager, Riley also obviously has a good relationship with Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, who started the final four games for the Eagles in 2020.
Riley, 37, is clearly one of the top candidates for this job but it’s unclear what it would take to pry him away from a good situation at Oklahoma. It would certainly start with a Brinks truck.
Riley has been the head coach at OU since 2017 and was their OC and QBs coach before that. Since taking over for Bob Stoops in 2017, Riley has a 45-8 record and it’s impossible to overlook the success he’s had with quarterbacks during his time as head coach.
He’s gone from Baker Mayfield to Kyler Murray to Hurts to Spencer Rattler and they’ve all had monster seasons. Mayfield and Murray won Heisman Trophies on their way to being No. 1 picks and he helped transform Hurts into a second-round pick after his one season in Norman.
Hurts played just one season for Riley in 2019 but was the Heisman Trophy runner up that season. In 2019, Hurts completed nearly 70% of his passes for 3,851 yards with 32 touchdowns and 8 interceptions and also rushed for 1,298 yards and another 20 scores. It was a tremendous year.
Of course, the Hurts connection is one of the main reasons to watch here. The Eagles’ head coaching position isn’t at the top of the list when it comes to the most attractive vacancies but the opportunity to come to the NFL and coach Hurts again might be very attractive to Riley.
Jeff Lurie tried to sell the Eagles’ vacancy as an attractive one, but I’m not buying it. It’s clearly toward the bottom of the seven openings in terms of appeal, so it’s fair to wonder if this is the opportunity that would have Riley make the jump to the NFL.
Riley is +475 to be the Eagles’ next head coach, according to PointsBet.
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